Before You Make Resolutions
The year 2015 is around the corner! But before you make those New Year resolutions, I think we should have a short chat.
Often when people get into make resolutions, it’s to become a healthier individual. Working out, losing weight, take a trip, sign-up for online dating, read the Bible in a year – all of these are good things that are beneficial for us personally. BUT, have you asked God if that fits into HIS plan for you this next year?
When I was in college, I kept making these four year plans. They weren’t bad plans by any means. I wasn’t planning on ditching school or even finding the perfect mate. They were good, practical goals about finishing college. Good, right? But by the end of each semester I would have to make a completely different plan. It was like at the beginning of each semester I would turn in my four year plan to God, and God would look at my plans and reply, “That’s nice… here’s your four month plan.” I don’t think it was until my 2nd to last semester of school where I finally went, “Ooooohhhhh…. I get it! YOU have the overall plan, and I need to trust you, right?”
As humans – and, dare I say, as women – we LOVE to plan! We love things to have their tidy place and to have our little comfort zones nice and snug in their places for the rest of our lives. We have all these ideas of how things should go, but what happens when they don’t happen how we thought?
Disappoint, let down, confusion, frustration – and ultimately we go, “What the heck, God? Why are YOU letting me down?” (Okay, I admit, I say that WAY holy in my head!)
But what’s wrong with this scenario? Is it God and His timing? Is God’s plan the problem?
One of my favorite verses that I struggled with (and admittedly hit over the head with quite a few times) is Proverbs 16:9, which says, “ In their hearts humans plan their course,but the Lord establishes their steps.” Recently I was going through this with a girl I work with, and I realized the verses above it hit it home more, and this verse is just a great conclusion of fact!
Hear verses 1-4:
“To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue. All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. The Lord works out everything to its proper end— even the wicked for a day of disaster.”
Um… ouch. Seriously! I think I used to read that with a veil over my eyes going, “Wow, God’s Word is so great…” But now I read this and go, “Oh my gosh! This makes so much sense why so many things I plan fail!” Why? Because whenever I try to talk to God about my future, I pray and act like I’m truly cool with what He wants, when in reality in the back of my mind I’m going, “Just say what I want you to!”
We are sinful human beings – and sometimes it oozes out of us like jelly from a sandwich. One area we may not be realizing that we’re oozing sin into is that when we approach God with what we should do with our future. We know good things we should do, but we don’t necessarily know what GOD wants us to do. We may see we’re overweight or not doing a lot for our dating life or even that our time with God is weak – but if don’t ask God, “What do YOU want me to do this next year?” all our planning will be vain steps to satisfy ourselves.
In my next article, we’re going to talk about how to make your resolutions simple and impactful for this next year.
Leah works with Master Plan Ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Other than watching college students' lives change, she enjoys getting her mind blown by God and His Word, watching sci fi, baking cupcakes, and spending time with her hunky husband.
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I agree that this can be a challenge for planners. I used to use a prayer mantra, "Lord help me to know your will and be joyful about it." I am trying to start using this as a launch point for my prayer again. Other than that I decided to go w/ a theme for 2015 instead of a resolution. So my theme is gratefulness, and I am challenging myself to come up with at least one thing to be grateful for every single day (even the yucky ones).
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